News from the North County Federation of Catholic Schools
Celebrating Catholic Schools Week 2022
Catholic Schools Week is January 30 through February 5, 2022. This is a time set apart each year when Catholic Schools celebrate their parish and school communities as expressions of God’s love. Catholic school leaders have always been devoted to helping their students grow closer to God as disciples of Jesus Christ. For the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, principals and teachers have given of themselves beyond expectations to ensure that students continued to grow and learn. Local Catholic schools have primarily been successful in keeping students learning in-person since school resumed in August 2020, with a few brief shifts to virtual classrooms as needed to keep everyone safe and protected. The social-emotional well-being of students and teachers has continued to be a priority. While wearing protective masks and practicing social distancing when needed, students in Catholic schools learn and witness that every life is a precious gift. A focus on faith, meditation in prayer, grace in the sacraments and the accompaniment of parish priests, deacons and school counselors have helped the school communities remain joyful in hope throughout all of the many challenges of the ongoing pandemic.
Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in kindergarten through 8th grade at the 7 Catholic elementary schools located in North County. Another 200 are enrolled in our preschool early education programs. These students and families comprise diverse school communities:
Diversity in Faith: Catholic schools in North County welcome students from all faiths and backgrounds. For the 2021-22 school year 57% are Catholic and 43% practice other faiths. Catholic schools recognize that 100% of students are beloved sons and daughters of God, entrusted by their parents or guardians to receive a Catholic education that will enable them to grow spiritually in relationship with Jesus Christ, grow academically to help them become faithful and active citizens of the world, and grow in service with a primary focus on LOVE: loving God and loving their neighbor as themselves.
Diversity in Race, Ethnicity & Culture: This year student enrollment demographics include 56% White, 38% Black, 1% Asian, 6% Multi-Racial/Other. And 7% are Hispanic (any race). Students in these Catholic schools grow in relationship with peers from different backgrounds and cultures. This is important preparation for their future work and service in the community.
Diversity in Socio-Economic Backgrounds: Many student households qualify for the government’s free and reduced-price lunch programs and even more receive scholarships and grants to help them afford tuition. It’s also important to note that no tuition bill covers completely the actual cost to educate a student. The gap between tuition charged and the actual cost to educate is subsidized by funding from sponsoring parishes, scholarships, grants and other generous donations.
Dr. Alice Prince, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant for the Federation of Catholic Schools, has been working with principals and teachers since August 2019 to help schools to thrive as increasingly diverse communities. Dr. Prince provides professional development opportunities, inspirational student workshops, unity prayer service and assists leadership with reviewing their goals and plans for embracing diversity. A central teaching of the Catholic Church is the intrinsic value and dignity of every human life. With that as a priority, principals of these local Catholic schools are committed to fostering a sense of community and belonging for every student. While delayed somewhat by the disruptions of the pandemic, Dr. Prince has assisted each school in surveying teachers, parents and students, developing goals and plans for diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging for each school community.
Enrollment for the 2022-23 school year is underway for preschool and kindergarten, with openings in upper grades available soon after current students re-enroll. Visit www.ExploreCatholicSchools.org for a map of locations and links to each school website. You may also contact any of the 7 elementary school offices directly:
All Saints Academy at St. Ferdinand, Mrs. Davis, Principal, 314-921-2201
All Saints Academy at St. Norbert, Mrs. Hoormann, Principal,
All Saints Academy at St. Rose, Ms. Zipoli, Principal, 314-921-3023
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Mrs. Dougherty, Principal, 314-522-3888
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ms. O’Brien and Ms. Biedenstein, Co-Principals, 314-524-1948
Sacred Heart, Mr. Masterson, Principal, 314-831-3372
St. Ann, Mr. Reft, Principal, 314-381-0113
What is the Federation of Catholic Schools?
Visit http://www.federationofcatholicschools.org/achievements for a quick summary of the core values and achievements the parishes and schools of the North County Deanery have accomplished since the Federation was established in 2010.
UNITY PRAYER SERVICE:
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Students from Our Lady of Guadalupe recently led a prayer service celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students and teachers have enjoyed the opportunity to come together for virtual Unity Prayer Services on Zoom. You can view a recording, along with other past services, by visiting https://www.federationofcatholicschools.org/prayer
Spread the Word! Follow our Schools and Parishes on Facebook
Many of our Federation schools and parishes are becoming more active on social media, especially Facebook. Please consider "Liking" these pages on Facebook and sharing their posts when something may be of interest to your network! By "Liking" and "Following" you can also catch a glimpse of the many great academic programs and service opportunities that our Catholic school students engage in throughout their days!
Other North County Catholic institutions are also on Facebook - be sure to follow them, too!
What's Happening in the North County Deanery?
Our Federation of Catholic Schools website features a page that includes a map and links to each parish bulletin/website for the 15 parishes and 8 Catholic schools that are located in the North County Deanery of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Visit this link to learn more about each of our unique and active parish communities:
North County Community News
Information about detours and road closures due to the I-270 North project can be found at this MODOT website:
True North is the authentic story of the many diverse communities and people that make up the northern part of the St. Louis metro region. Being authentic means that we acknowledge our struggles, embrace our diversity, celebrate our successes and invest in the future. Follow the stories of our community!
COVID-19 Vaccination information is available from the St. Louis County Health Department at https://stlcorona.com/covid19-vaccines/